Thursday, 21 February 2013


Three fishermen from the Isle of Lewis were rescued from a liferaft by the Coastguard rescue helicopter based in Stornoway after their ten-metre fishing vessel ‘Achieve’ sank.

At just after 3pm today Stornoway Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre heard a spoken Mayday call asking for urgent assistance. Because no location was given Stornoway Coastguard calculated the likely location of the fishing vessel by triangulating the strength of the radio signal through their cluster of radio aerials and checked with local ports and harbours for a vessel of the same name. Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre reported that a distress alert had been received from a RNLI ‘Man Overboard Beacon’ and so the Leverburgh RNLI Lifeboat was asked to go to this position along with the Coastguard rescue helicopter based at Stornoway. When the helicopter arrived on scene they saw a red flare launched by the liferaft.

All three crew members were winched from the liferaft in to the helicopter and taken to hospital for medical attention. The liferaft was recovered by the lifeboat who also checked the scene for debris and pollution.

Ed Thompson Stornoway Coastguard Watch Manager said:
”It would appear that the fishermen’s vessel sank very quickly, and although they were unable to give us their position during their Mayday call for help they had flares in the liferaft and so were able to quickly attract the attention of the helicopter when it arrived on scene.”



Tuesday, 19 February 2013


The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has been carrying out investigations to try to locate the source of a product that contaminated seabirds off the south coast of England.

After tests were carried out on a sample of the product, it was identified as polyisobutene, or polyisobutyliene (PIB). This is a fairly common chemical carried aboard ships and it is produced in a large number of countries.

Despite further tests, we have been unable to identify specific components of the product that may have helped us find the source. We did not receive any reports of pollution within the English Channel area at the time when the birds were coming ashore, but a MCA counter pollution surveillance aircraft surveyed the English Channel from Dover to the Isles of Scilly. In addition, images from the European Maritime Safety Agency’s satellites were reviewed. No pollution was detected.

As such, we have concluded that it is highly unlikely we will be able to link the pollution to any specific vessel. Unless we receive any new information, our investigation is now closed.

Monday, 18 February 2013


People are once again being urged to take extra care when out on the coast, after three separate incidents in Dorset over the weekend where people had become stuck in mud.

Portland Coastguard coordinated all three rescues, with the first on Friday lunchtime in Swanage where a man was stuck in mud near Pines Hotel. Swanage Coastguard Rescue Team and Dorset Fire and Rescue were sent to the scene and together they managed to extract the man safely.

The second rescue was on Saturday afternoon when Lulworth Coastguard Rescue Team responded to a report of two people stuck up to their waists in mud on the east side of Lulworth Cove. Once on scene, the two had managed to free themselves and apart from being cold, they were uninjured. They were given warm drinks by the Coastguard Rescue Officers and helped back to their vehicle.

The third incident on Sunday afternoon happened at Chapmans Pool on the Isle of Purbeck. Portland Coastguard took a 999 call from someone who spotted a man stuck in mud. During the call, the man had managed to free himself and was unhurt.

Her Majesty’s Coastguard is now urging people to make sure they take note of any warning signs, and not take any unnecessary risks. If you do find yourself stuck in mud, try to spread your weight as much as possible, avoid moving and stay as calm as you can. Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Discourage others from attempting to rescue you, as without the proper equipment they could become stuck too.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


A Cornish fisherman has today pleaded guilty to breaches of the Fraud Act 2006 and Safety Training Regulations, and has been made to pay a total of £14,528 in fines and costs.
44-year-old Alan Fairless, of St. Austell, is the owner and operator of the lobster boat "Flying Spray IV” based in Charlestown. In January 2012, the boat was inspected by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) but Mr. Fairless failed to produce evidence of completion of the mandatory safety courses in Sea Survival, Fire Fighting, First Aid and Safety Awareness. He was asked to produce the required certificates within 14 days.
He told the MCA he could not find the certificates, and was then requested to provide evidence of dates booked to attend the required courses. In May, he was issued with an Improvement Notice to complete the safety courses. Despite saying he had to cancel one course to attend a funeral, Mr. Fairless then contacted the MCA at the end of June to say he had found his certificates. Checks on the documents found them to be fakes.
Mr. Fairless was arrested and interviewed by Devon and Cornwall police and bailed. On answering his bail in January this year, he was charged with one count of breaching sections 1 and 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 and one count of breaching section 2 and 3 of the Fishing Vessel (Safety Training) Regulations 1989, as amended.
At a hearing today before Bodmin Magistrates Court, Mr. Fairless was fined £5,000 for the fraud charge, £3,300 for the breach of Safety Training Regulations charge and made to pay costs totaling £6,228.
Tony Heslop, Area Operations Manager (Survey & Inspection) for South-West England said:
 "The MCA takes a very serious view of the actions of Mr. Fairless. The safety training regime for fishermen has been put in place to save lives and improve safety on fishing vessels. His attempt to defraud the safety training structure devalues the certificates that others have worked hard to achieve. By attempting to use fake certificates, Mr. Fairless has placed his life and the lives of others at risk.”

Monday, 11 February 2013


Lyme Regis Coastguard Rescue Team has this afternoon been assisting with a large landslip on Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis.

Portland Coastguard received a number of 999 calls at around midday, and has been liaising with other authorities to ensure people stay away from the danger areas.

Lyme Regis Coastguard Rescue Team has put a temporary cordon in place.

Some sections of the coast around the UK are particularly vulnerable to cliff falls and landslips. Her Majesty’s Coastguard is again advising the public to take great care when walking on cliff paths or along beaches, and take note of any warning signs in place.

If you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

UPDATE: 13:55 Monday 11th February

Lyme Regis Coastguard Rescue Team and the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter based at Portland were both sent to the scene to establish whether members of the public on the beach at the time had been caught in the fall.

Eye witness accounts reported to Coastguard Rescue Officers on scene and aerial surveillance quickly established that nobody was in immediate danger.

UPDATE: 14:05 Monday 11th February

People urged to keep clear of the area until the situation has been stabilised.

UPDATE: 15:30 Monday 11th February

Council and Natural England officials on scene. Signs being put up. Landslip approximately 200 metres in length.

UPDATE: 16:30 Monday 11th February

All Coastguard Rescue Officers stood down and have now left the scene.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced today that nine foreign flagged ships were under detention in UK ports during December 2012 after failing Port State Control (PSC) inspection.
Latest monthly figures show that there were five new detentions of foreign flagged vessels in UK ports during December 2012 and four vessels remained under detention from previous months. Only three vessels remained under detention at the end of December. The overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last twelve months was 3.52% this is slightly up from November’s twelve month rate.

Out of the detained vessels five were registered with a flag state listed on the Paris MOU white list, two was registered with a flag state on the grey list, one was registered with a flag state on the black list, one was unregistered and none were registered with a flag state that was not included on the Paris MOU white, grey or black lists.

1. In response to one of the recommendations of Lord Donaldson's Inquiry into the prevention of pollution from merchant shipping and in compliance with the EU Directive on Port State Control (2009/16/EC as amended), the Maritime and Coastguard agency (MCA) publishes full details of the foreign flagged vessels detained in UK ports each month.

2. Inspections of foreign flagged ships in UK ports are undertaken by surveyors from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Where a ship is found to be deficient or lacks the required documentation, Maritime and Coastguard Agency surveyors can take a range of actions leading to detention in serious cases. The UK is part of a regional agreement on port state control known as the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MOU) and information on all ships that are inspected is held centrally in an electronic database known as Thetis. This allows the ships of flags with poor detention records to be targeted for future inspection.

3. Detained ships have to satisfy surveyors that remedial work has been carried out before they are allowed to leave port.

4. When applicable the list includes those passenger craft prevented from operating under the provisions of the EU Directive on Mandatory Surveys for the safe operation of regular Ro-Ro ferry and high speed passenger craft services (1999/35/EU).

Notes on the list of detentions
Full details of the ship.
The accompanying detention list shows ship’s name, the flag state and the ship’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) number which is unchanging throughout the ship’s life and uniquely identifies it.
The company shown in the vessel’s Safety Management Certificate or the party otherwise believed to be responsible for the safety of the ship at the time of inspection.
Classification Society.
The list shows the Classification Society responsible for classing the ship and not necessarily the party issuing and/or carrying out surveys for certificates relevant to the defect found.
Recognised Organisation.
The "organisation"- responsible for conducting the statutory surveys: and issuing statutory certificates, (on behalf of the Flag State).
The list gives a summary of the main grounds for detention and includes information where the ship has been released to sail to another port for repairs.


Date and Place of detention: - 03 December 2012 Barry
Vessel name: - FINJA (General Cargo)
GT: - 1925
Imo No: - 7724564
Flag: - Cook Islands
Company: - Ohle Jurgen Reederei KG
Classification Society: - Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
Recognised Organisation: - Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
Recognised Organisation for ISM: - Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
Summary: - Eighteen deficiencies including four with grounds for detention.

The vessel was detained as there was a number fire safety issues as the emergency fire pump was not operational as the fittings were incompatible with hose; the silver coating was delaminating on the fire fighting suits; there are two fighting torches missing; one of the breathing apparatus was unable to hold pressure. Due to ten deficiencies being marked as ISM, there was objective evidence of a serious failure, or lack of effectiveness of the implementation of the ISM Code.
Other deficiencies identified included the certificate of receipt of application for the Chief Engineer and Chief Mate had expired, the Oily Water Separator (OWS) calibration certificate Oily Water Separator (OWS) was not as required. There were fire doors being held open and self closing mechanism was not operational; the fire hose nozzle was damaged and the oxy/acetetylene bottle hose fittings were in poor condition. The service for the emergency escape breathing device had expired. A number of self closing sounding cocks were not closing correctly in the engine room and there was oil in the engine room bilges. The MF DSC test call was not being carried out weekly; the compass correction log was not as required and bubbles were found in the compass. The records of rest were not kept up to date and official log book not completed since 30 November 2012 and no record of drills carried out. There was also a security related defect.
The vessel was released on the 07 December 2012.

Date and Place of detention: - 04 December 2012 Southampton
Vessel name: - THAMES (Dredger)
GT: - 2929
Imo No: - 7340631
Flag: - Cook Islands
Company: - Torbulk Ltd
Classification Society: - International Naval Surveys Bureau (INSB)
Recognised Organisation: - International Naval Surveys Bureau (INSB)
Recognised Organisation for ISM: - International Naval Surveys Bureau (INSB)
Summary: - Twenty-five deficiencies including one with grounds for detention.

The vessel was detained in Southampton as ten deficiencies marked as ISM were objective evidence of a serious failure, or lack of effectiveness of the implementation of the ISM Code.
Other deficiencies identified included the Stability information booklet has not been approved by flag state and does not represent the vessel in current condition; there are no records of stability calculations being carried out in the past and none for the forthcoming voyage. The fire drill conducted was not to a satisfactory standard and the emergency fire pump suction hose was loose and leaking; along with temporary repairs on the fire main pipework and leaking fire hydrants. The main engine had sea water leaking from pipes and the stern tube sealing water pipe had failed; there was oily mixture in the engine room bilges (aft). There was a lack of SART testing in the GMDSS log book; the originals of ISSC and SMC were not on board; there was no CEC for Chief mate; the crane lacked being marked
‘do not use’as no load test carried out. Several hand rails were damaged as they were either missing, bent and buckled or the chain attached to the vessel with welding rod and string; the main deck had loose plating covering the overspill areas; the emergency light lamp and diffuser was missing in the starboard (aft) void space. The vent closure to pump room will not seal as it is corroded and the door is bent. The Hopper/aft pump room bulkhead was damaged in several places and must be repaired to satisfaction of classification society. The port discharge bucket was able to go beyond its operating limit and cause damage. The transfer winch emergency stop sparked when touched, the cover was missing and had heavily corroded wires. The lifeboats seasickness tablets had expired, the vessel medical equipment was out of date and there was a security related defect.
The vessel was released on the 12 December 2012.

Date and Place of detention: - 04 December 2012 Groveport, Scunthorpe
Vessel name: - DORIS T (General Cargo)
GT: - 1973
Imo No: - 7626748
Flag: - Antigua & Barbuda
Company: - Afalita Shipping
Classification Society: - Bureau Veritas (BV)
Recognised Organisation: - Bureau Veritas (BV), Lloyd Registry (LR), Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS)
Recognised Organisation for ISM: - Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS)
Summary: - Eleven deficiencies including four with grounds for detention.

The vessel was detained in Groveport as the main propulsion engine was inoperative; the main sea water inlet pipework was cracked before an isolation valve; the failure to report the engine and pipework failures to the relevant authorities. Due to deficiencies being marked as ISM, there was objective evidence of a serious failure, or lack of effectiveness of the implementation of the ISM Code.
Other deficiencies included the main engine room lighting to be renewed and proven to be operational; the light base was to be repaired and the main mast radar platform was stiffening and needed repair. The GMDSS battery box needed to be replaced and there was a large bubble inside the magnetic compass. The cladding on the generator exhaust in the funnel was heavily corroded and the provisions store flooring to be repaired with an impervious material.
The vessel was released on the 14 December 2012.

Date and Place of detention: - 11 December 2012 Tyne
Vessel name: - OCEAN MORNING (Bulk Carrier)
GT: - 30053
Imo No: - 9244843
Flag: - Panama
Company: - United Ocean Ship Management Pte Ltd
Classification Society: - Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NKK)
Recognised Organisation: - Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NKK)
Recognised Organisation for ISM: - Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NKK)
Summary: - Eighteen deficiencies including one with grounds for detention.

The vessel was detained in Tyne as twelve deficiencies were marked as ISM, which demonstrate there was objective evidence of a serious failure, or lack of effectiveness of the implementation of the ISM Code.
There were several fire related deficiencies identified including there being a lack of control at the fire drill; The oil mist detector was inoperable; two breathing apparatus sets were inoperable and several breathing apparatus bottles empty; the vessel was not complying with hot work permit as there was no extinguisher available; a fire main on board had a leak from a joint.
Other deficiencies identified there was a lack of control at the abandon ship drill and 1 life jacket was condemned with class to confirm if lifejackets conform to SOLAS requirements. Several pipes were corroded through and also had rubber patch repair on them and the cylinder lube-oil storage tank air pipe was corroded through. In the engine room - lube-oil gauge glass valve held open, the EEBD in the workshop shows low pressure and not all lights were working on escape. The aft mast navigation light was inoperative; several mooring ropes had broken strands; the number one hold tank top was holed during cargo loading. The hours of rest for the Master and Chief engineer were not as required and there was a security related defect.
The vessel was released on the 18 December 2012.

Date and Place of detention: - 16 December 2012 Teignmouth
Vessel name: - SANDETTIE (General Cargo)
GT: - 2088
Imo No: - 9214018
Flag: - Netherlands
Company: - Sandettie CV
Classification Society: - Bureau Veritas (BV)Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NKK)
Recognised Organisation: - Bureau Veritas (BV) Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
Recognised Organisation for ISM: - Bureau Veritas (BV) Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
Summary: - Six deficiencies including three with grounds for detention.

The vessel was detained in Teignmouth as manning not in accordance with Minimum Manning Safety Document, as the master was in custody ashore. There was no look out during the hours of darkness and there was an ISM deficiency as deficiencies marked as ISM, there was objective evidence of a serious failure, or lack of effectiveness of the implementation of the ISM Code.
Other deficiencies identified were the hull was damaged and impairing seaworthiness; the ship sanitation certificate was not as required and fire detection zones had not been identified.
The vessel was released on the 20 December 2012.

Date and Place of detention: - 30 November 2012 Grangemouth
Vessel name: - ROOSTER II (Other Cargo/Standby Supply)
GT: - 844
Imo No: - 7531620
Flag: - Togo
Company: - Val Energy SA
Classification Society: - Columbus American Register (CAR)
Recognised Organisation: - Columbus American Register (CAR)
Recognised Organisation for ISM: - Columbus American Register (CAR)
Summary: - Fourteen deficiencies including five with grounds for detention.

The vessel was detained in Grangemouth as there were no immersion suits on board; the Continuous Synopsis Record was not on board; stability information for forthcoming voyage was incomplete; the emergency fire pump is not working and several vents, air pipes and emergency exits were not water tight.
Other deficiencies identified included the wrong information supplied on the fire control plan as fire pumps marked incorrectly and engine room fire hydrant was seized and several fire extinguishers were not secured. The QC valve was not closing. The aft end engine room bulkhead was penetrated by cable ducts and screw holes which were not filled. Several emergency lighting covers were missing along with unsecured/loose floor plates; there was damaged railing on the main deck. The West Africa pilot book was not on board.
The vessel was released on the 06 December 2012.

Date and Place of detention: - 9 September 2011 Liverpool
Vessel Name: - DYCKBURG
GT: - 3,660
IMO No: - 9195913
Flag: - Antigua & Barbuda
Company: - Werse Bereederungs Gmbh
Classification Society: - Lloyds Register of Shipping (LR)
Recognised Organisation: - Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
Summary: - seventeen deficiencies including one ground for detention

The vessel was detained in Liverpool because there were a large number of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) related deficiencies which were objective evidence of a serious failure or lack of effectiveness of implementation of the ISM code on board the vessel. Other deficiencies identified included: the main engine was defective; also the engine room was very oily in some areas; the five year service on the immersion suit in the engine room had expired; there was no evidence that the freefall lifeboat had been manoeuvred in the water within the last 3 months also there was no evidence that the freefall lifeboat had been freefall launched within the last 6 months; in addition the deck officer was not familiar with launching the starboard life raft by davit.
The vessel was still detained at 31 December 2012.

Date and Place of detention: - 8 November 2010 Birkenhead
Vessel Name: - MOST SKY (General Cargo)
GT: - 1,972
IMO No: - 9389370
Flag: - Panama
Company: - ER Em Denizcilik
Classification Society: - Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS)
Summary: - twelve deficiencies including four grounds for detention

The vessel was detained in Birkenhead because the engine room was very dirty, there were fuel oil leaks and a major non conformity was identified with respect to the lack of maintenance of the ship and equipment. Other deficiencies identified included: the crew/officers records of rest were not signed; the crew accommodation was no longer provided with steam heating; the galley needed cleaning; there was insufficient fruit and vegetables on board; the crew showers and toilets were dirty and the shower curtains missing and the laundry washing facilities were inadequate. In addition the lifejacket lights were out of date; the aft deck was slippery underneath the deck generator and several fire doors were tied open.
The vessel was still detained at 31 December 2012.

Date and Place of detention: 4 March 2010


Vessel Name: - CIEN PORCIENTO (General Cargo)
GT: - 106
IMO No: - 8944446
Flag: - Unregistered
Company: - Open Window Inc
Classification Society: - Unclassed
Recognised Organisation: - Not applicable
Recognised Organisation for ISM: - Not applicable
Summary: - thirty deficiencies including seven grounds for detention

The vessel was detained in Lowestoft because the main fire pump was inoperative and there was no alternative fire pump outside the machinery space. There were insufficient liferafts, the sanitary water system was inoperative and there was no fresh running water to the galley, pantry and shower room. There were no nautical publications and charts were incomplete for the operational area.
Other deficiencies found were insufficient provisions for the intended voyage and medicines were out of date. In addition the following items were found to be missing:
distress flares; line throwing appliances; lifebuoys; life jackets with lights; immersion suits; satellite (Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon) (EPIRB); fire extinguishers and the fire hose nozzle.

The vessel was still detained at 31 December 2012.

Saturday, 2 February 2013


Belfast Coastguard received a 999 call this afternoon reporting an overturned kayak 300 yards away from Culzean castle off the Ayrshire coast.

Belfast requested the Rescue helicopter from Prestwick to scramble, and the Girvan all weather lifeboat and the Girvan and Ayr Coastguard Rescue Teams to attend the scene.

The helicopter located the casualty swiftly due to the precise location details given by the informant. He was winched aboard the helicopter from Culzean bay and then transferred to Ayr hospital where he is being treated for hypothermia.  The Girvan lifeboat managed to recover the kayak with the assistance of the Girvan and Ayr Coastguard Rescue Team members.

Belfast Watch manager, Lawrence Cumming said

We were concerned for this mans safety, we would like to take this opportunity to give the following safety advice to kayakers

Ensure that someone knows your passage plan including points of arrival and departure.  Check weather forecasts and ensure that your skill levels are appropriate for where you are kayaking.  Wear a buoyancy aid and check that equipment is functioning properly, that your distress flares are in date and are stowed where you can reach them.

Carry a vhf marine band radio (fitted with DSC if possible), learn how to use it and practice with it. Call the Coastguard if you get into difficulty, preferably via channel 16 on your radio or if not by calling 999 and asking for the coastguard.


The owners of the RO/RO cargo ship 'Ciudad de Cadiz', which ran aground off Mostyn Harbour in North Wales, on Wednesday 30 January 2013, decided against attempting to re-float today at high tide.
The cargo ship remains in an upright position, with no reports of any damage or pollution.

Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention is continuing to closely monitor the situation. There is no pollution risk and the intention is to attempt to re-float the ship at the next Spring tide around the 9th or 10th of February. A Salvage Control Unit (SCU) will be set up on Tuesday next week.

Friday, 1 February 2013


This afternoon Stornoway Coastguard received a 999 call reporting two men in the water at Loch Linnhe Marina, near Appin.
The two men, along with their two dogs had been transporting sheep between the mainland and Shuna Island, Loch Linnhe. Their 16ft vessel had capsized, throwing them into the water.
Oban lifeboat was launched, two local vessels also attended the scene to offer assistance. The men were  wearing buoyancy aids, one drifted ashore, the other was recovered into one of the assiting marina boats.
Appin Coast Rescue Team recovered and secured the capsized vessel discovering one of the dogs, alive and well but trapped in an air pocket underneath the boat. The other dog swum ashore, unfortunately none of the sheep survived.
Both casualties were taken by ambulance to Lorne and Islands hospital in Oban where one is being treated for hypothermia.
Martin Collins, Watch Manager said:
These two shepherds have had a lucky escape today, given the temperature of the water at this time of year. They were aided by the use of the buoyancy aids they were wearing.
The Appin Coastguard Team only discovered the dog when they were securing the upturned boat. The dog had been in the water for about and hour but has suffered no ill effects by the experience.
This was a good outcome to what could have had a tragic ending.


The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is the UK authority that responds to pollution from shipping and offshore installations. The MCA is regularly called upon to react to a wide range of maritime incidents and to develop a comprehensive response procedure to deal with any emergency at sea that causes pollution or threatens to cause pollution.

This occurrence of seabirds being washed up on south coast beaches contaminated with a product is rare. We are working with partner organisations and agencies to deal with this event.

The Environment Agency has taken samples of the product and is currently analysing it to identify it. The RSPCA and RSPB are collecting data and the contaminated birds are being cleaned at the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Somerset.

We will continue to monitor this situation and await the results of the analysis of the product. We have received no specific reports of pollution within the English Channel area, but we have sent one of our counter pollution surveillance aircraft to investigate the sea areas between Dover and the Isles of Scilly.
UPDATE: 18.00 Friday 1st February
Results from the sampling by the Environment Agency show the pollutant is a refined mineral based oil mixture, but not from an animal or vegetable origin. This definitely rules out palm oil.
Stan Woznicki, the MCA’s Head of Counter Pollution, said:
“We have not received any specific reports of pollution within the English Channel area, but today we sent one of our counter pollution surveillance aircraft to investigate. It covered the sea areas between Dover and the Isles of Scilly, but no pollution was detected.
“Initial analysis indicates that the contaminant is a refined mineral oil and further analysis results are awaited."